Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and my partner and I had a wonderful dinner in a nice restaurant, something we do not normally do because we are very budget conscious. It was such a lovely experience and I am so glad we went out. We had a delicious meal and the atmosphere was pleasant and there were no kids – we were in heaven.
Yet, as I looked around the restaurant, something saddened me. I realized that many people, even on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day, struggle with whether to go for a diet dinner or a delicious delicacy. Where is the balance in the equation?
Seated at the table next to me was a woman in a much-too-short and MUCH-too-tight dress. She was thin, too thin, and she seriously looked as though she had vacuum packed herself into this outfit, complete with ridiculously senseless high-heeled shoes….. you all know what I am referring too.
This restaurant had FABULOUS things on their menu. I was in HEAVEN as I ate beef fillet in a Gorgonzola cream sauce with steamed asparagus – yum! My partner had a ravioli with sweet potatoes that was also amazing. At a table not far from me, I saw an overflowing bowl of onion soup that I wanted to take off their table (they really would not mind, would they?). But what did the vacuum packed woman eat??? Boiled chicken with some marinara sauce. Seriously, you come to a phenomenal restaurant on a special occasion, and choose to eat boiled chicken?
Now, perhaps she had an allergy to the many wonderful foods on the menu, perhaps she has a stomach issue that creates problems with high fat or high calorie foods (my father had one) – but, what if she was controlled by nothing but vanity or strict self-imposed dietary routines?
I have personally lost @ 20 pounds over the past year. I did so by watching quality and quantity of what I eat exercising 4-7 times a week (for an hour each time). I am all for nutritional shifts and exercise routines, but I am also keenly aware of our need to find balance and enjoy ourselves.
It is okay to eat a steak or french fries on a special occasion I would even argue, it is a healthier choice – because understanding our relationship with food and that food can work for us will bring us to a much healthier daily food balance.
Does this make sense?
Today, 6 days ’til 40, I am happy to have balance in my life in a variety of areas and I am very pleased that I can allow myself the opportunity to eat a steak on a happy occasion with pure enjoyment and without an ounce of guilt. I hope you can do the same.